Take a reader-centred approach rather than a library-centred approach. Observe library users, and carry out research to test your assumptions on various elements of library use. Discuss findings with staff and use this information to build a profile of your community. This will help you develop reading programmes and a diverse, relevant and culturally inclusive collection that will appeal to all students.
Knowing your students’ interests as well as their reading abilities will also help you to match books with readers and to do 'book talks' most likely to engage students.
Helping students choose books
Ways to help students to choose books include:
- creating reader-friendly environments using clear, helpful signage and attractively displayed resources with plenty of face-out display of book covers
- interacting with students in amongst the shelves creates valuable opportunities to chat with with readers and be part of the reading conversation
- building an inclusive collection with a wide range of resources and formats
- promoting books across ages such as promoting sophisticated picture books and easy reading fiction as “quick reads” to older children, helping encourage struggling readers to find books that suit their abilities.
Helping students choose books for reading pleasure
Present the collection in interesting and creative ways
Escape from genre and author displays, bring books together in unusual combinations with a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Use surprise and discovery. Examples such as: Journeys, Take a bite, Spooked, Discover, Dream. There is a wide scope here and you can check out other examples and resources on Opening the book’s website.
Opening the book